Having progressed well, Down showed the potential he had over the next few seasons, but suffered a horrific broken leg when he fell at the tackle area in the second minute during the Racing Metro v Cardiff Blues match in Paris in November 2011. He has since recovered to become an integral part of the Cardiff Blues pack.
Speaking of the contract James said,
"It was an easy decision to sign again with the Blues.
"It's my hometown region. I've played all my rugby here and come through the Academy system, so I always wanted to stay.
"It's been really positive on a personal note to play a lot of rugby this year having picked up injuries in previous seasons. It's good to play a lot of games in a row and I aim to stay in the team and hopefully build some wins up.
"It's an important thing for any player to get a run of games to get some consistency and this is the first season I've been able to do that in a Blues shirt."
Looking to the future James said,
"We have a lot of talented young players who are gaining experience week in week out and I think, hopefully we will see that talent come through in wins.
"Certainly in seasons to come I can't see any reason why we can't challenge for honours with the talent we have, if we can keep hold of quality players.
"The Arms Park has always had a fantastic atmosphere and I grew up watching Cardiff RFC as it was then and then the Blues later on. It's good to come back and the atmosphere is still great.
"Phil Davies has also come in and put in some systems and a new dynamic to training. I think we are only a few inches away from putting in a string of wins together and moving up the Rabo table."
Having been called up to the Wales squad during the autumn internationals James now is eager to get back in the Wales squad.
"It was a real honour and privilege to be called up to the Wales squad, even though it was only for a short time.
"To contribute to the training was brilliant and to be in that environment gave me a taste of it and made me want it more."